There is much more to a home than its layout and square footage. That’s why staging, or preparing your home for sale, is a critical step in the selling process. A properly staged home will have its flaws minimized, its assets highlighted, and will make an impressive first impression on potential home buyers.
Once it’s up for sale, a home becomes a product, and it’s the responsibility of the owner to make sure that it’s ready for showing off. You can stage a home without breaking the bank. Consider the five tips below to help get you started:
1. Clean. A clean house should be your #1 priority. Deep clean all surfaces, from counters to toilet seats, and even the walls. If you need to, repaint any brightly-colored or scuffed-up walls with a nice neutral color. Cleaning the home properly can take a great deal of time, so you may want to consider hiring a professional cleaner.
2. De-clutter, de-personalize. In order for others to see themselves living in the home you’re trying to sell, all traces of clutter and personalized items need to be out of the picture. Remove all family photos, kids’ artwork, pet supplies, fridge magnets and knick-knacks, and store them somewhere out of sight.
3. Focus on high-traffic areas. Areas of the home such as the living room, foyer and kitchen that get the most foot traffic should receive most of your time and energy — these are the rooms that will make the greatest impact on prospective home buyers.
4. Don’t forget the outside. Curb appeal is very important. It’s the first impression that buyers will have of your home, and you don’t want poor landscaping to take away from your home’s value. There’s no need for expensive landscaping, but make sure that the yard is tidy and free of weeds, and the lawn is mowed. In addition, remove unsightly dead branches from trees, and prune any shrubs. You’ll also want to make sure that there’s no peeling paint or scuffs on your front door. For additional appeal, consider adding a few pots of flowers around the entrance for a welcoming splash of color.
5. Hire a professional (or stage like one). While usually unnecessary, a professional home stager can make all the difference in the sale of your home. He or she will know just how to arrange furniture and add accents to show off your home’s potential. While many home sellers are turned off by the initial price, consider it an investment that has the potential to sell your home more quickly, and for more money. Still don’t want a professional to do it for you? Buy a few real estate magazines, and apply the same staging elements you see on your own home.